A man who beat his 12-year-old daughter and then made hundreds of phone calls from prison to stop her testifying has been jailed for almost six years.

The Hawke's Bay man, who Hawke's Bay Today has not named to protect the identity of his daughter, appeared in the Napier District Court for sentencing yesterday on charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempting to pervert the course of justice, breaching a protection order and failing to attend a domestic violence programme.

He was served a protection order relating to his partner and children in April, 2016.

On a January afternoon last year, after a heavy drinking session, he was with said family when he beat his 12-year-old daughter until she couldn't stand.

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He had taken issue with his daughter wanting to visit an aunty to return some items and denied her, telling her brother to go instead.

Yesterday, the court heard the young girl was unhappy about this and defendant laughed at her, taking her phone and refusing to leave her alone.

She pushed him in an attempt to get away from him and in anger he pushed her back, punching her in the shoulders.

The girl's mother asked him to stop but he grew angrier, hitting his daughter harder and repeatedly throwing her to the floor.

At one point he picked her up by the neck and afterwards, as the 12-year-old lay on the ground, put a mattress on top of her and kicked the top of it where her head was.

The defendant eventually stopped and fell asleep, having drunk heavily.

His battered daughter couldn't get up and was helped by her mother before the police were called. She had a fractured rib and bruising to most of her body.

When charged for the offending the man was remanded in custody at the Hawke's Bay Regional Prison, where between January 24 and October 6 last year he made 713 phone calls to his partner, the complainant's mother.

Some were made on prison phones when the calls were recorded and others on a phone another inmate had.

Judge Geoff Rea said not all of these calls were of a criminal nature but it showed the "extraordinary lengths" he went to ensure he wasn't prosecuted.

"On more than one occasion the case was due to get under way but couldn't because your partner nor the complainant turned up to court, which can be attributed to the scheme you had going so as to avoid the consequences of your vicious conduct."

At sentencing, defence lawyer Anthony Willis accepted his client had a shocking history that would warrant an uplift, but submitted the man accepted he went too far and was remorseful.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Gullidge said the Crown called into question this remorse as the defendant had also expressed he was sorry after the beating, but then went on to make the 713 phone calls from prison.

Judge Rea said both the beating and lengths the man went to ensure the prosecution didn't go ahead eliminated any expression of remorse.

"I am told you are remorseful, however it seems to me that your remorse comes out of the fact you are here to be sentenced today, rather than an appreciation of what you did."

He sentenced him to four years and six months on the lead charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and 15 months for attempting to pervert the course of justice to be served cumulatively.

The end sentence was five years and nine months' imprisonment and a minimum non-parole period was not imposed, Judge Rea said the man would certainly get one if he committed similar offending again.

Chief Custodial Officer for the New Zealand Department of Corrections, Neil Beales said some prisoners go to great lengths to manipulate the rules we have in place.

"On occasion they are assisted by other prisoners, or people outside of prison, who help them subvert our systems.

"For example, a prisoner may ask another prisoner to have a telephone number approved on their behalf and use that prisoner's account to make calls to the number, or a prisoner may pressure a call recipient to provide false information in order to have a phone number approved," Beales said.

Visitors who attempt to introduce contraband are referred to police for consideration of criminal charges, and are banned from visiting.